WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced today that it has granted Louisiana Energy Services (LES) a license to build and operate a uranium enrichment facility in southeast New Mexico. Following is a statement from Marvin Fertel, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.
"The Nuclear Energy Institute congratulates LES on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of its license application for a new uranium enrichment facility in the United States. Once built, LES’s state-of-the-art facility will help ensure a competitive, reliable and stable supply of low-enriched uranium. This achievement will enhance our domestic supply of fuel to produce reliable, emission-free electricity from nuclear power plants for decades to come.
"With the nation’s 103 operating nuclear power plants running at 90 percent capacity and the prospect of new nuclear power plant construction moving steadily closer to reality, this new enrichment facility will add to our energy security as it increases our domestic capability to produce nuclear fuel for electricity production by commercial nuclear power plants.
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also is to be commended for completing its detailed examination of the LES license application within the original, 30-month schedule. This disciplined licensing experience is a welcome confidence-builder that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can effectively review safety and licensing issues in a timely manner. This experience bodes well for the construction and operating license applications for new nuclear power plants that are expected to be submitted to the agency beginning in 2007."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.